Saturday, February 28, 2015

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Yes, it's been a while since I watched this movie.  Sad thing is, I didn't even remember all that much about it, other than I enjoyed it while watching it.  It didn't leave too much of a memory, other than the very end of the movie, which I'll talk about as I get to that picture.  It does make me happy to say I liked it.  Sure wish I could say I loved it, though, but that's just a general preference these days.  Everything has to be so damn dark, even "colorful friends" as Baron Stryker referred to the Avengers- there's hardly any color in them, aside from Iron Man and the Hulk. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

RIP Leonard Nimoy

There are three shows I remember from being a small child: the 60s Spider-man cartoon, the Adam West Batman and Star Trek.  Those were the first shows I have strong memories of, and of those three, Star Trek was the show I watched the most growing up.  It was always on TV (Channel 4) though occasionally it would get replaced by some other program, like Big Valley, which I still haven't quite forgiven for that bit of chicanery.  We played Star Trek at recess in school, and we took turns on being the various characters from the show.  Of course, the big three were always in demand, and Mr Spock was always the coolest person to play.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Magic Serpent ninja scene

One of the many movies that KWGN would air on a regular basis was 1966's The Magic Serpent. The first time I saw this was late night on Sci-Fi Flicks, and there was no clue in the TV Guide as to what the movie was about. It probably just said "Japan; Fantasy" if that. Who knew it would be one of the best martial arts/fantasy movies around?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Golden Key Digest #31- Turok, Son of Stone

I got this in the summer of 1973.  Oddly enough, I don't remember buying it, so I'm guessing someone gave it to me at some point, knowing my love of comics and dinosaurs.  All I know is that I read it many many times, cover to cover.  I had no idea it was the first six or so stories from the Turok comic book.  I had already purchased more than one Turok comic, so I knew of the character, and enjoyed the book.  I loved the covers, and was always disappointed that the interiors never looked quite as good.  I don't fault Rex Maxon for it, since now I quite enjoy it, but back then, I wanted "Marvel' style art.  Yes, even at age 8 I was starting on being a comic book art critic.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Invincible Shaolin (1978) trailer

Here's a fun movie I never saw until I was much older. I can't say it's one of my favorites, since it takes a huge lapse of logic to get the film going- the bad guy turns the North Shaolin students against the South Shaolin students, when a simple talk it out would settle things easily.

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Million Brontosaurs

It's no secret that One Million Years, BC (1966) is my favorite dinosaur movie, and for the matter, my favorite Harryhausen movie.  It was the first one I ever saw all the way through around the age of seven or so.  I really had no idea what I was about to see, but I was hooked.  I also suspect Raquel Welch had an influence on me that didn't show up until later, but that's another story for another day.  It's really a great film overall, and far superior to the original, which while not bad, has frikkin' lizards as "dinosaurs".  Bleah.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Kaitei Shonen Marine theme

I have to admit that I like this version better than the US opening, as much as I love it. I've written about this theme before, but it's gone from youtube now, so here's a replacement version.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010)

This is an overlong but pretty fun movie.  It's based on Di Renjie, a real life official of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. He seems to have been quite the person.  The movie was popular enough to warrant a sequel/prequel, which is also on Netflix and I'll watch it sooner or later.  It's even longer than this one.  Good thing I didn't have to watch it all at once.  It also tries to be epic, like most of Tsui Hark's movies, so that wasn't very surprising.  It really didn't need to be, since it was well cast and the effects and action scenes are well done.  Just stuff we've all seen before, made safer by green screen.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Five Venoms fighting styles

I love this movie. I've never watched it in any Chinese language though, interestingly enough. It's pretty close in English as it is. I remember exactly where I was when I first saw this movie, in WV, watching it with my cousin Tuck. The wonderful Channel 20, WDCA, of course. While they had fallen off the cool cartoon bandwagon, they still came through with some great movies.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

the end of Young Justice... season 1

At the end of the first season of Young Justice, "The Light" has tried to use Starro "tech" to take over the Justice League.  It would have worked if it hadn't been for those meddling teen titans.  They free the League, reveal most of their deepest secrets to each other (no real surprises to anyone paying attention, you don't even need to read the comics) and find out Red Arrow is really a Cadmus clone.  The one mystery is where were six Leaguers for 18 hours.  Those six pictured look pretty familiar, don't they?  This wins the adults respect as well.    So the adventures will start anew next season, right? 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Peabody's Improbable History - Surrender of Cornwallis

One of my favorite cartoons is Peabody's Improbably History. It was part of the excellent Rocky and Bullwinkle series, so it's no surprise at how much fun it is. There was an "origin" episode where it was explained, all in about 2 minutes. Since I'm watching the Mr Peabody and Sherman movie now, I wanted to see an episode of the original series.

Monday, February 16, 2015


Right from the first episode he meant business.  That Gray Rhino had no clue what he was getting into, and neither did the viewer, but it sure had us hooked.  Even me, who didn't get to see the series until the mid 90s when a Hawai'in station aired it subtitled.  And I loved it.  I can't imagine what impact it would have had on me as a kid had I seen it back in the day, but I think I would have loved it even more.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Looney Tunes: Back in Action (trailer)

Just watched this fun movie again. For the life of me I can't figure out why this wasn't a huge hit. It's way better than the one that Bugs and company did with Michael Jordan, that's for sure. I mean, the trailer alone is better than that entire film.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

TV Monsters in Colorado

I have complained a bit about the lack of great cartoons and shows that were never aired in my area- as far back as I can remember we never got Ultraman, Speed Racer or the Hanna-Barbera World of Super Adventure.  Heck, even the Batman TV series disappeared from Colorado airwaves in late 1970 (there's a story for later, I remember it clearly).  We only got the 50s Superman show in the late 70s thanks to the excellent 1978 movie.  It was always sort of a challenge to get up early when I was on vacation in West Virginia, since I could watch the 60s Spider-man cartoon, among other great shows.

Friday, February 13, 2015

RIP Gary Owens

This is one obit I didn't want to write, but now I have to.  I met Gary Owens at some San Diego Comic Con in the early 00s. It was after a voice acting panel that also had Maurice LaMarche. Two great reasons to see that and it was one of the best panels I've ever attended. The whole panel was hilarious and told great stories.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Mr Wong, Detective (1938)

I had never seen one of these Mr. Wong movies.  If I recall correctly, they were a staple of late night TV in my area growing up, but I didn't know what they were.  I was also pretty sure that there were no monsters in them, and if so I had other things to do.  Five of the six films starred Boris Karloff as Wong, and the sixth and final one featured Keye Luke, the first Asian to portray an Asian in the movies.  How about that?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Gaurdians of the Galaxy (2014)

 I watched this a while ago, fully intending to review it in good time.  Life, however, had some other plans for me, but here is the long awaited review now.  In short, I liked it, but the "greatest sci-fi movie since STAR WARS"?  I wouldn't call it that.  Heck, I wouldn't even call it the best superhero movie of 2014- that I'd reserve for X-Men: Days of Future Passed.  It all comes down to personal enjoyment I suppose, but at least the X-Men didn't start off with the dreadful 10CC song "Boys Don't Cry". 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Return of the Fist (2010)

No, that's not Kato from any faux Green Hornet movie out there, it's Donnie Yen starring as Chen Zhen in the sequel to Jet Li's Fist of Legend.  The full title of the movie is something like Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen, which I think is the official title.  It's only fitting there's a sequel to one of Jet's best movies, since Bruce's version has about 214 or so unofficial ones.  Or maybe some of those are official, it's not really worth finding out.  I haven't seen one that was as good as FIST OF FURY, and that really isn't a very good movie.  Take Bruce out of it and no one would remember it at all.  It's better than The Big Boss, but that's not saying much.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Mystery Incorporated, the finale

This is easily the best Scooby series, even better than the first series (which was the best, despite the team up with Josie and the Pussycats).  This one really does a good job with everything, and the gang finally does get to face down a supernatural entity.  I mean, I know there were some series where they fought ghosts and such, but I've never seen those.  So as far as I know, it's the first time.  There are also a lot of fun cameos in this second season as well, some obvious, some subtle.  We'll talk about them... now!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Peanuts (2015) trailer

It was a toss up between the first and the second trailers, but they are pretty much the same, both featuring Snoopy and Woodstock. Nothing we haven't seen many times in 2-D form already. Hopefully the movie will be original, and not just rehashing tropes we've seen already (ahem, Abrams Star Trek movies). I'm not going to hold my breath though.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Great Godzilla intros

There's been a lot of great Godzilla appearances in his various movies.  Godzilla vs the Thing, Godzilla vs the Sea Monster and Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla all spring to mind, as well as the original, though you only see his head in Godzilla, King of the Monsters in that initial appearance.  Heck, even the first "reveal" for 2014's Godzilla is pretty impressive, despite all the other many flaws going on in  the movie.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Fireman Opening

Here's a really cool non-Ultra Tsuburaya show from 1973. I think it only runs about 30 episodes, but out of the three they did- the other two being Mirrorman and Jumborg Ace this is the one I like best. It was offered for release here in English speaking territories as "Magmaman" which is a cooler name.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Hobbit Smaug pt 2,or "It's finally over"

 It's finally over.  This movie clocks in at two hours and forty one minutes, though it's only 2.30 if you take out the eleven minutes of credits.  Man, I'm glad I didn't have to sit through all of those waiting to see if there was a teaser at the end of the movie.  I was annoyed enough getting through the dang thing as it was.  So much added and so much changed and for what?  It all reeks of padding to get the "fans" of the movies to shell out even more money.  Just buy the book, you can read it in about the same time it takes to get through these films.

Xenorama #18 is almost done

Taking a break from the Unenderance of Smaug (seriously, this movie is far too padded, and it's really making me even more annoyed with Peter Jackson) I've been getting Xenorama #18 ready to finish up.  It will be featuring a lot about the color green, including Green Lantern, Marvel's Godzilla and the movie in the poster featured here.  What?  It doesn't used the word "green" in the title.  You'll have to buy the issue to see how it fits in!  There's also a couple of articles I wrote for a a couple other magazines in the past, featuring Gamera and Kamen Rider Hibiki, updated a bit here and there.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Superheroes: A Never Ending Battle (2013)

I had heard about this three part series airing on PBS, but I never got to see any of them.  Now, thanks to Netflix, I've seen all three episodes.  It's very well done, talking to so many of the living creators and using some archival footage of the ones that have passed, like Jack Kirby.  There is plenty of footage from movies, serials, cartoons and TV shows as well.  Heck, there's even some radio dramas presented, though not much of them.  So it's good to have them presented here, with no real favorites, unless your name isn't Marvel, DC or Image.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Desolation of Smaug (the Hobbit 2, 2013) part 1

A half an hour into this almost three hour movie and I'm already annoyed.  It's beyond ridiculous that this adaption takes three movies to tell a story, and it's even worse when this second one starts out with a retcon (that Tolkien himself wrote to make the Hobbit fit in better with the Lord of the Rings) stating how Gandalf came to meet Thorin.  I liked it better when it was more of a mystery to the reader, which is was until I got my excellent annotated version of The Hobbit.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Abaranger opening

I got the subbed DVDs several years ago, and am just now getting around to watching them. Sentai works well with dinosaurs, doesn't it? Much better than lame old cars or trains, I gotta say. It's been a fun series, though I didn't quite remember when I left off.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Age of Dinosaurs (2013)

For my first Asylum movie I think I picked one of their better ones.  It's a story about a genetics company that makes dinosaurs walk again.  They do this to help people be able to walk again, though I must have missed the reason.  There's a big show for the public to let them see how safe the dinosaurs are.  Naturally they escape and things get worse from there.  There is a bit of a nice rampage in LA, and some cool scenes of destruction.  Yes, we've seen the story before, but it's pretty well done, though some of the acting isn't great and the script could use some polishing, overall it kept me reasonably entertained for it's 88 minutes.